green makeup

Skincare

Sequoia organic skincare

sequoia beauty

Warm summer days are leaving and autumn with its beautiful colors and new beginnings is on the door. This time is especially great for regenerating and pampering your sun-kissed skin. During my vacations on the sea, that I love so much, I had the opportunity to try a totally organic all-herbs-and-plants skin care products from Sequoia beauty. This lovely brand from Northern California is driven by Laurel Shaffer, the founder of Sequoia, Herbalist and skin care specialist. I was very inspired about Laurel’s philosophy regarding our body, mind and nature connection. Her points of view are in connection with mine, this is why I decided to take a deep look on her products. And what I discovered is an amazing brand with so organic ingredients and formulations that you can almost eat! However, I encourage everyone to try her brand, especially people who are used to use synthetic cosmetics which has toxic synthetically made scents and extracts, to understand what it means to inhale a natural smell and treat your skin with REAL plant and herbal extracts. The difference is unparalleled! But mostly I love the fact that Laurel “is inspired by how even the energy of healing from one person to another can result in miracles.” I don’t just agree, I also think that this is the future of beauty and healing! I encourage you to read more about Laurel’s philosophy on Sequoia page. (UPDATE: Sequoia beauty is now relaunched under the name Laurel organic skincare)

 

Review of my favorite Sequoia organic products

I mentioned that I’ve tried Sequoia’s products on my vacation and I have to say they were just the right product at the right time! I want to share with you which products I have tried, my beauty ritual and how the products worked for me. It was especially handy to carry with me many products, because they were (quite big) sample sizes. And as I mention many times: a little goes a long way, because of so many nourishing organic oils and concentrated extracts. I hardly say which product is my favorite because I love the ritual of using a combination of them.

 

My beauty ritual with Sequoia 

1.step

cleansing the skin with the gentle but effective Almond mineral exfoliator. A product that can be used by every skin type, because its texture and ingredients. I have mixed it with water or Firm and tighten toner to get a quite dense mixture and then applied it to the face and gently massaged it into the skin. Because of grounded almonds, oats and chamomile the feeling on the skin is clean but nourished and soft as well. The beautiful scent that this product leaves is due to essential oils of Rose and Rose Geranium that you can sense inside.

sequoia beauty

2.step

Because my skin was everyday more tanned and prone to dry, I decided to nourish it everyday with Sequoia’s gorgeous Honey Berry Enzyme Mask, after using the Almond scrub. The result was a soft, nourished and regenerated glowing skin! The Honey berry mask is a product that can be literally eaten! The main ingredient is organic raw honey that is one of my favorites masks in general. Honey is great because has natural antibiotic properties, it nourishes the skin and removes impurities. I love when on the sea I get some pimples, because this way I know that the salt from the sea which is a potent detoxifier, is doing its work and it detoxifies my body. After, I nourished my skin with a boost of all these organic gems! Coming back to Sequoia’s Honey Berry Enzyme Mask: among honey it contains also Organic Strawberries and Blueberries because of their enzyme and cleansing actions as well as being antioxidants. Needles to mention, the ingredient list is the purest ever (as well as all Sequoia products!):

Raw Honey*, Raw Strawberries*, Raw Blueberries*, Raw Royal Jelly*, and White Grapefruit Essential Oil* *Each ingredient is certified organic, raw, and local to the bay area

sequoia beauty

3.step 

After leaving the mask on my face for about 20 min, I’ve washed my face with water and if needed applied even the toner for refreshment. Then I have massaged around the eyes my 2nd favorite Sequoia product Eye Dream. This is really a dream for the under-eye area: a very hydrating and nourishing eye cream with a vivid yellow color and a strong herbal scent. As stated on Sequoia’s page this cream: Stimulates collagen with rosehip seed oil and sea buckthorn oil, both containing high amounts of vit C. Bilberry for optimal eye health, and in combination Nettle to reduce puffiness, fluid retention, and dark circles. Licorice to reduce inflammation. This cream is a fountain of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins A,C,E, and K, and its also filled with plants high in the carotenes for optimal eye health. Rose and Lavender are both gentle and soothing to the eyes. Soft essential oils of Lavender, Sandlewood, and Myrrh are soothing as well as beneficial to aging skin. I don’t have nothing else to add. You have to try this product to understand! It’s also calles Eye am new, so cool!

Eye am New ingredients: Rose*, Chamomile*, Lavender*, Raw and Unrefined Oils of Jojoba*, Rosehip*, Borage*, Sesame*, Grape Seed*, Wheatgerm*, Red Raspberry Seed* and Sea Buckthorn*; Shea Butter*, 11 Plant Eye am New Proprietary Blend*, Vegetable Wax, Vegetable Glycerine, Soy Lecithin*, Licorice*, Gotu Kola*, Rosemary*, Non-GMO Vit E, Red Radish Root Filtrate, Sequoia Beauty Flower Essence*, and Essential Oils* *Signifies certified organic, raw, and unrefined ingredient.

Sequoia beauty

4.step

the last step is the moisturizer and I had to choose among serums or the Transform Daily Moisturizer. Usually I used the moisturizer, a vivid yellow in color and full in moisture, this cream was perfect as a make-up base. It’s also quite full of water because Rose and Calendula hydrosols and thus great for dry skin. The moisturizer as well Sequoia serums have an additional special blend of many herbs that help to nourish and protect the skin. Among many others you can find: Comfrey – for rapid cell reproduction, Gotu Kola – collagen stimulation, Sesame oil – antioxidants, Wheatgerm – nourishing, Sea Buckthorn oil- vit c, reverses/prevents sun damage, stimulates collagen. As you can see these blends are a pure gift of nature!

The second moisturizer that I loved so much is the Nourish Serum. As you know, I love organic oils on my skin and so I apply them in the evening on clean face and neck. Organic oils are elixirs for our skin! Nourish face serum is a very dense orange oil with a nice smell – I noticed mostly the Sea Buckthorn, a great plant delivering us one of the best oils, rich in vitamins C, A, B1, B2, E, essential fatty acids, flavonoids, carotenoids and many other beneficial constituents that provide skin repairing, nourishing, regenerating actions. This oil is quite dense, so you need just a few drops for the entire face. It absorbs quickly in the skin and does not clog pores like synthetic oils. Here is the glorious list with ingredients:
Certified Organic, Raw and Unrefined Oils of Jojoba, Rosehip, Sesame, Almond, Borage, Evening Primrose, Red Raspberry Seed, Sea Buckthorn, Wheatgerm, Meadowfoam, and Tamanu, a Nourish Proprietary Blend of 18 Plants*, Rosemary Extract, and Essential Oils of Bergamot, Rose Geranium, and Clary Sage. *The Nourish proprietary blend is 100% organic and all plants are locally grown in the bay area. All plants are hand pressed by Sequoia Beauty. If you have plant allergies please contact us for more information. **Please note Nourish is absolutely 100% organic in its entirety – from the oils, the plant blend, to the essential oils.

sequoia beauty

Additional product  Purity Face & Body Balm was my all-around product that I applied especially on the body where I had dry skin areas. This balm has a brown yellow color and it reminds me of indian curry with its scent. It’s a nourishing balm very good especially for dry skin on the body and face as well. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and at Sequoia they recommend it for those who suffer from eczema or psoriasis, because of the high percentage of nutrients and no water in it.

Purity Team: Unrefined Shea butter*, Tamanu oil*, Rosehip seed oil*, and our essential oil blend* which includes Neroli and Sandalwood. *Each ingredient is certified organic, raw, and unrefined

In conclusion, I encourage you to try Sequoia if you haven’t yet. Especially because you will understand what real organic herb-and-flowers blend means. And invite new scents and benefits in your life!

Organic lavender from Slovenian Karst – part 2 + GIVEAWAY

Krasna skin care collection review

krasna skincare

I’m back to you as promised with the second part of my story about organic lavender from Slovenian Karst. The first part of the post was about learning how the organic lavender is produced. The second part is all about BEAUTY!

I am also announcing my FIRST GIVEAWAY for all my fellow readers and for the new ones as well!

As you can imagine, I was so thrilled about all this beauty and scents of lavender, but I also had a “beauty”card up my sleeve 😀 which is a fresh&new Slovenian brand of organic skin care made of all this lavender! The brand is called Krasna and is in the procedure to be organic certified! The main person behind this beautiful brand is Mrs. Tanja who has presented me the entire process of their organic lavender production in Ivanji Grad. She has already a smaller boutique collection of organic lavender cosmetics called Aria. Krasna is their new and wider collection of face and body skin care. The name Krasna is a play with words: “krasna” in slovenian language means splendid, gorgeous. Used for this purpose the word reffers also to Kras, which means Karst – the region where their organic lavender is growing.

 

My review of Krasna organic skincare

When I got in hand these new products even before they were out, I was so happy about this great discovery! First, because they are made from 1st class organic lavender which you can smell, feel and sense! And second, because they did such a beautiful image design with special eco-friendly packages.  Mostly all Krasna products are hand-crafted and made without any synthetic preservatives or other toxic ingredients. Their package is eco-friendly and 100%recyclable. They use special bottles for creams called Ecosolution™ that protect the product against oxidation and preserve the effect of naturally occurring preservatives in creams. Even the emissions of CO2 are 30% lower during the package production.

 

Krasna skin care collection

Krasna organic lavender skincare

Face moisturizer: A good makeup base as well as a great rich cream suitable especially for mature and dry skin due to lavender and neroli.

2 hydrosol/tonic waters: one with pure organic lavender for all skin types and the other suitable for combination or problematic skin: a mix with organic lavender and tea tree. Needles to say, they are fabulous! As a hydrolat fan I spritz the hydrolat on body after shower, on face, hair and even on bed pillows. Mediterranean scent!

Lavender tea for drinking or simply for making a facial steam. You can also add it in your bath. I adore lavender tea, it’s a great taste while it makes you feel so calm.

Lavender face scrub: My favorite product from the collection! It comes in a “dry form” and it’s a mixture of dried lavender blossoms, oatmeal and hemp with the addition of mate and green clay. The clay will absorb excessive impurities, while mate will add a boost of antioxidants to your skin. Lavender as final touch will soothe and calm your skin. Because of oatmeal & hemp the scrub is so gentle yet effective on your skin and thus appropriate for every skin type. It will leave your skin clean and soft without being too harsh.

Green make-up comment Very innovative because its primary back-to-nature concept!

 

Krasna organic body care collection

Krasna organic lavender body collection

Body massage oil: the oil cannot be missed out on my top list! I haven’t tried such a genuine mix of pure oils since long! Organic essential oil of lavender is the key in this product; to make you relax and to inhale all the benefits of lavender! The essential oil is added to best base oils like: almond, olive and jojoba oil. All these oils are full of benefits for dry and mature skin and with lavender oil they make the perfect aromatherapeutic massage blend. After the use the skin is so soft and smells great! I recommend this oil even as a special gift idea!

Hand-made soaps are fabulous as well! In the collection there are two innovative soaps: one for dry and normal skin, made of pumpkin seed oil and lavender. The other one is suitable for cleansing the skin and detoxifying it because of the natural clay. Lavender oil is mixed into the soap while beautiful dried lavender blossoms decorate the soap and act as a gentle scrub. This great soap is also part of the giveaway.

Lavender bath salts: I will give this luxurious multi-use product for the giveaway, too! The hand-made mix of lavender blossoms, organic thyme and organic salts will be a great pampering and relaxation for everyone. Don’t worry if you don’t have a bathtub! Put the salts in a big bowl full of warm water and soak your feet in it. The water and salts will detoxify your body and you will feel regenerated! A great experience. You can also mix these salts with your favorite base oil (olive,…) and make yourself a body scrub under the shower. The skin will be smooth and hydrated because of oils.

Green makeup comment A simple must-have for your bathroom wellness!

Hand cream and Body cream: they are both packed in the Ecosolution™ package with a pump. Both creams are very moisturizing and infused with essential oils of lavender, cedar and citruses. Their consistence is rich and hydrating because of base oils. A small amount will be enough for pampering your skin.

Shower gel: a delicate splash of organic lavender for cleansing your body.

 

For more information about all products check their website Ekotera, where you will find all Aria products, as well an in-depth presentation of their lavender production. Krasna collection will be soon available in their international web shop (link is coming soon). In Slovenia you can also find it in DM shops.

 

GIVEAWAY (open internationally)

Be the first to try the newest hand-crafted organic lavender products from Slovenia!

GIFTS:

Krasna Luxurous organic Lavender bath salts

Krasna Lavender & clay hand-made soap decorated with dried lavender blossoms

+ bonus sample of Krasna organic Lavender face scrub

Krasna skincare from Slovenia

RULES:

1. Put a comment below (just on the blog) with your own thought Why you like lavender?

2. Follow my blog

3. Like Green makeup on Facebook/Twitter (See links in my right sidebar)

For those who already follow Green make-up blog and social media, follow just the step 1 (comment below).

Thank you!

The giveaway finishes on Wednesday, August 8, 2012,  at 24:00 CEST. I will announce the random chosen winner the day after.

Organic lavender from Slovenian Karst – part 1

and the distillation process of Lavender essential oil

lavender

I was a total fan of perfumes since ever and thus interested even in the process of producing perfumes. One of the methods used in perfume production is also the plants distillation process. Have you read the Patrick Suskind’s book Perfume? I did many years ago, but not so much because of the story itself but because of the charming nature of producing perfumes. The story was located in France’s famous city with Lavender fields: in Grasse … And of course I wanted to once see the distillation process of plants needed for perfumes… And guess what? I had this charm right at my hands! I just had to go a few kilometers far from my house to discover the magic world of organically grown Lavender and its beautiful distillation process that I want to introduce you in.

Lavender is one of my favorite plants not just because violet is my favorite color and because the amazing therapeutic smell of Lavender…It seems there is more behind this beautiful alchemy of scents…

I’ve also realized that summer is the season when I unintentionally discover beauties in my green native country Slovenia. So a few weeks ago, I discovered the biggest production of organic Lavender in my country, in the amazing region of Slovenian Karst. I took a trip in the lovely Karst village called Ivanji Grad and literally caught the last drop of Lavender essential oil. It was the last day of distillation process and I was there just in time! It’s needless to say that I was in heaven when I inhaled and watched Lavender everywhere! I checked the entire process of distillation and so finally my wish came true 🙂
I also met the owner of all this beauty, Mrs. Tanja, who explained me everything about the production of Lavender essential oil. But this is not the end! In the upcoming 2nd part of this post a big surprise is waiting for all beauty and Lavender lovers like me 🙂 where I will unfold the best part of Mrs. Tanja’s story. Here are a few things she told me about her Lavender production:

– In Ivanji Grad all the Lavender is produced organically, without any pesticides or other toxins.

– They have 5 species of Lavender on different fields and are adding new ones.

– In Ivanji Grad they harvest their Lavender manually. They have their own distillation and drying rooms.

– Did you know that you need 50 kg of dried Lavender to produce 1 liter of pure Lavender essential oil? Stunning! A by-product of this is 9 liters of Lavender Hydrosol/Hydrolat (click here to know more about what is hydrolat)

 

How To Extract Lavender Oil and What is the Steam Distillation Process

(check the slideshow below to see the process)

Essential oils are produced by several different methods, among which the steam distillation is one of the most used methods for obtaining them. In the steam distillation process the raw material(Lavender in our case) is heated and the fragrant compounds are re-collected through condensation of the distilled vapour. Steam from boiling water is passed through the raw material, which drives out their volatile fragrant compounds. The condensate from distillation are settled in a Florentine flask (or Alembic). This allows for the easy separation of the fragrant oils from the water. The water collected from the condensate, which retains some of the fragrant compounds and oils from the raw material is called hydrosol/hydrolat. (Source: Wikipedia)

 

Beneficial properties of Lavender

Violet color corresponds to our 7th (crown) chakra that is located at the top of the head and is linked to the pineal gland. It’s not by chance that even Lavender is violet. Pure organic Lavender oil has a very high frequency and is used not just for calming but also to purify and cleanse our body, mind and spirit. If you have any stress or problems with headaches spritz your face and body with lavender hydrolat or inhale a few drops of high-grade lavender essential oil. You will feel better and refreshed! You can also put 2 drops of oil on your wrists and rub it into the skin to feel better. Lavender is also among rare essential oils that you can apply directly on the skin. Before doing yoga or meditating, you can even inhale a few drops of Lavender essential oil. It will help you to connect with your Self. When buying Lavender essential oil make sure is really high quality otherwise you won’t feel the effect! Even wounds, scars and acne will heal better, insect bites will soothe quickly. A few drops added in a warm bath will alleviate rheumatic ailments, sciatica, pain in bones and muscles. It will also help us in diseases, such as eczema and skin fungus. Lavender bath will calm us before bedtime. Lavender tea is welcome for mouth/gum diseases, excellent also for digestive problems, because it accelerates the secretion of bile and helps to calm nervous stomach and heart. However, we can go on and on with all the benefits that Lavender has got for us!

I’m really proud to promote such a unique and loving mission that Mrs. Tanja and her team are doing for themselves, for our country and for the planet as well! I will present you the entire story more in detail in the second part. Now, enjoy the beauty of Slovenian organic Lavender from Ivanji Grad on the pictures below! And perhaps take a nice trip there!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

copyright photo credits: Boris Gorjan

Badger after sun balm

badger balm

In these days I’ve thrown out from my green bag the After sun balm from Badger balm that I’m going to review. This fabulous product came to me just at the right time, when I needed something gentle, soothing and organic for my skin after a sun&sea vacation. My skin wasn’t burnt but I needed anyway that feeling of pampering myself with something new. And so I got unexpectedly this nice gift from Ecco-verde shop. Thank you again! The Badger’s After sun balm it’s a total revelation! I know about Badger balms but honestly I haven’t tried yet their balms.

The after sun balm comes in a lovely tin box (21 g) with breathtaking illustrations (all Badger products have them). All Badger balms are infused with different organic plant/flower/fruit extracts which is a total olfactory discovery! The balm is based on organic oils and butters like: cocoa and shea butter, jojoba and olive oil, which are all very good for the skin, especially for after sun treatments when the skin needs soothing and hydration to come in balance again. You can apply the balm over the body or just on sore spots where the skin needs special treatment. If you want you can use the balm every time you want not just after sun exposure. Due to its organic ingredients this is a really precious balm for your skin! I’m sure you will also be fascinated by its beautiful scent: mediterranean citruses and lavender mixed with ylang-ylang and Moroccan blue tansy. This last ingredient (Blue Tansy) is considered by aromatherapists to be an important oil for burned, inflamed and damaged skin. Its aroma relaxes and eases the nervous tension and stress.

The balm is USDA organic certified.

List with Ingredients: *Olea Europaea (Extra Virgin Olive Oil), *Cera Alba (Beeswax), *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, *Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Butter, *Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Essential Oils of *Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender), Tanacetum Annum (Moroccan Blue Tansy), *Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime), *Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Sweet Orange), *Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang), *Citrus Sinensis (Sicilian Orange) and CO2 Extract of *Hippophae Rhamnoides (Seabuckthorn). 
* = Certified Organic

If you like the Badger products or if you want to try them, stay tuned on my blog, because a nice surprise is waiting for you in the near future 😉

My new discovery: Snowberry beauty

snowberry skincare

I started to be very curious about this brand after they have added me on Twitter. I went to browse through their website and their philosophy caught my attention: New Zealand – their green native country, their gardens and especially their care for the planet with commitment to be environmentally sustainable. Snowberry beauty is a brand with very high quality skin care products “created mostly from wilderness and rainforest substances such as White peat, Neem, Lingon and Cloud berry oils. Soraya’s idealism meant that she had to find alternatives for other chemicals frequently used in skin care. Some are intended to give a silky feel, or to hasten absorption, and some are simply ‘fillers,’ or cheap sources of emollients, moisturisers, and foaming agents. For Snowberry, Soraya would accept only those ingredients – no matter the cost, that she could trust to be truly beneficial and truly safe. For this reason, and unlike many other brands, Snowberry means: No Lauryl Sulphates, No Petrochemicals, No Propylene or Butylene Glycols, No Volatile alcohols, No artificial colours, No Silicones, No DEA or MEA ingredients. Avoiding parabens as the preservative system for Snowberry products led to another dedicated research program. The breakthrough came in the form of an unusual combination of natural ingredients including Totarol from the New Zealand rainforest to form a unique, natural preservative system.”

This is the foundation stone regarding ingredients that Soraya Hendesi, the founder and creator behind Snowberry beauty, advocates.

Snowberry beauty is also the first New Zealand beauty company to achieve carboNZeroCert™ certification for each of its products, and may be the first in the world to do so. Read more about this here.

Snowberry beauty

 

Green makeup review of Snowberry skincare

Snowberry sent me 3 of their best products for skin cleansing that I’m going to present you: Nourishing exfoliator, Instant deep cleanser and Gentle remineralising toner.

I use these products for a couple of weeks, so that I can now present them more accurately. Before reviewing each product, I’d like to mention their package design that I like very much! I find so great when companies invest in design artwork. Snowberry’s packages are decorated with lovely youthful graphics on their eco-friendly carton. In general, I think that the package should be the representation of the inside quality. I’m not saying that is more important than the inside content, but it’s an outer extension of the inside. When inside and outside are in harmony, the vibration of the product is higher and thus more successful.

Snowberry beauty package

Snowberry beauty Instant deep cleanser

is absolutely my favourite product from this collection. It is packed in a 50ml plastic bottle with pump. But a little goes a long way, since it’s very concentrated and quite dense in texture, due to natural oils. I use this cleanser in the evening for removing the makeup and it does a great job! After using it, the skin feels clean, soft and radiant. I like its smell, which I hardly describe, maybe because of all plants that we are not used to know here in the other part of the globe 🙂 The product is loaded with very interesting and beneficial exotic ingredients such as:

Neem seed oil : an exotic natural emollient from Neem seeds with moisturising, hydrating, and skin softening properties. This oil stimulates cell regeneration, is a mild antiseptic and gives skin a smooth and healthy appearance.

Inca Inchi Oil: An exotic natural plant ingredient with moisturising, hydrating, skin softening and sun protection properties.

Passion Fruit Oil: A natural active emollient from Passion flower with a high level of linoleic acid, providing deep nourishment and moisturization for the skin.

Sun Essence (Cloudberry Seed Oil): An exotic natural plant ingredient with moisturising, hydrating, and skin softening properties.

Pufabe Echium Oil: A natural ingredient from an Arctic plant with moisturising and hydrating properties.

Macpaste: A naturally derived gelling agent from nuts of the macadamia tree with moisturising and emolliency properties.

Coleus Oil: A natural extract from the roots of Coleus forskohlii with excellent cleansing and moisturising properties while giving a pleasant aroma.
For anyone who looks for a special cleansing product with natural beneficial ingredients, this cleanser is absolutely the right answer.

 

Snowberry beauty Nourishing exfoliator

I’m a big fan of every kind of scrubs, and Snowberry’s exfoliator it’s not an exception. I really like it! I have to say that with all Snowberry products a little goes a long way, because they’re very concentrated and quite dense in texture. This exfoliator is packed in a 75ml plastic tube. I use it on my normal-dry skin once a week and its formulation suits great my skin type. Especially because it’s very dense and creamy with small particles that polish the skin while leaving it soft, without being too harsh. The special combination of exotic oils, herbal extracts and even precious gems helps to safely remove dead cells while leaving the skin cleansed, smooth and fresh. It’s very interesting that they have utilized for exfoliating precious “gems” like the Cultured mother of pearl: A natural plant exfoliator from cultured pearl ground to specific particle size and Natural jojoba ester based beads with excellent exfoliating properties. And even ruby powder: A natural mineral from micronized Ruby with toning and exfoliating properties. Due to some other very interesting ingredients this scrub has also some anti-aging properties:

Sage Seed Extract (75% Ursolic Acid): A naturally active plant ingredient from Sage seed with excellent anti-aging properties. It forms an oil-resistant barrier on the skin to prevent and improve the appearance of wrinkles and age spots.

Rewarewa Honey: A natural plant ingredient which actively offers various cellular protection factors such as preservation of the immune system, accelerated cell protection, protection against photo-ageing,  and moisture boost with long term effect.
Of course, even this product is full of fantastic oils that nourish the skin:

Ucuuba Butter: A natural ingredient from seeds of the Ucuuba tree with moisturising and hydrating properties. Also with anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties making it ideal for problem skin.

Illipe Butter: An exotic natural emollient from seeds of the Shorea Stenoptera tree renowned for it’s incredible moisturising properties and ability to restore elasticity to the skin.

Carana Oil: A natural ingredient from a South American plant rich in phytosterols with moisturising and hydrating properties.

Tucuma Oil: A natural ingredient from a South American rich in phytosterols plant with moisturising and hydrating properties.

Meadowfoam Seed Oil: A natural American oil from the seeds of the meadowfoam plant with moisturising and hydrating properties. Has a extreme high oxidative stability and prevents moisture loss

Acai Oil Organic: A natural plant emollient with excellent anti-aging properties targeting healing.

Shajio (Seabuckthorn Oil): An active natural plant ingredient with indispensable skin protection and anti-aging properties. It helps to combat wrinkles, dryness and other symptoms of malnourished or prematurely aging skin.

As you can see, Snowberry’s exfoliator is not a usual scrub, but it’s a luxurious treatment for your skin.

Snowberry skincare

Snowberry beauty Gentle remineralising toner

First, I was thinking how strange it is to pack a toner in a plastic tube. I thought this product is a tonification water, but it’s not. I’d describe it as an everyday refreshing cleanser with a light liquid to gel consistency. It comes in a plastic tube of 100ml and its color is brownish. The only thing that I’m not so used to is the scent. But this is my personal opinion, since I’m not used to strong smells. Otherwise, I use it in the morning for cleansing and refreshing my skin. It’s very gentle, but effective at the same time. After using it, the skin feels so refreshed. I’d suggest it to every skin type as a daily cleanser with many benefits. I was very curious which cleansing agent is used and it’s interesting that they have developed Sapindin (A natural surfactant from the Soap tree that provides natural foaming and antibacterial properties) and Juazirine 
(A natural plant surfactant from Juazeiro bark with natural foaming saponins to gently cleanse). They have also developed their own blends of naturally derived plant extracts that provide many benefits such as antioxidants, excellent anti-ageing properties in restructuring and stimulating aging cells,…

Among many interesting beneficial all-to-know-ingredients are also:

Snow White Coral Algae: A natural active ingredient from marine algae with antioxidant and SPF properties. Functions as a broad spectrum UV protection factor, broad spectrum IR protection factor and a thermal regulator.

Mikimoto Pearl Extract (Mother of Pearl extract): 
A natural ingredient which is rich in amino-acids and minerals. This multi-functional ingredient provides moisture, whitening, repair and an organic UV protection filter.

Andiroba Oil: 
An exotic natural emollient from nuts of the Andiroba tree with moisturising, hydrating, and skin softening properties. It also promotes anti-inflammatory and skin renewal activity.

Kumquat Kiwi Fruit Enzyme : A natural cleansing agent using enzymes from Kiwifruit seed.

For concluding, I’d say that Snowberry gave us another opportunity to learn about many amazing ingredients that the nature provides and which can be great substitutes to conventional ingredients. At Snowberry they have pushed their science over and merged it in harmony with nature. To benefit our skin and even the planet!

About hydrolats

Suti ROSE WATER Facial Toner review

suti skincare

One of my favorite cosmetic products are with no doubt hydrolats, mostly when outside temperature is rising and my skin loves everything that feels fresh. Well, I like hydrolats all year-long and use them for other purposes as well. Hydrolats are also known as hydrosols, floral waters, hydroflorates and flower distillates.
I was fascinated since ever with the process of distillation, especially the one related to perfumes. Once, I was collecting perfumes, but then when I switched to green, I started to keep distance from standard perfumes, because of so many hidden artificial ingredients and my health. Of course, my love for the fragrances has not died, it just changed and found a new way. Let’s come back to hydrolats, which are btw. not comparable to eaux de toilettes, but they both have something in common – the process of distillation. To keep the explanation clear and easy, here is a great excerpt on floral waters from Mountain herbs that I want to share with you to understand better what hydrolats are :

“Hydrosols, are products from steam distilling plant materials. Hydrosols are like essential oils but in far less of a concentration. When a distiller brews plant material with water in a large cooker the steam fills the pot and, as it rises, it causes the glands of the plants to burst and release the oils and essence of the plant into the steam. The oil rises through a condenser and collects in a separate vessel. This is what we know as essential oil, but what about all that fragrant water that was steamed with the original plant material? That is our hydrosol, or floral water.
Hydrosols are usually the result of essential oil production as a by-product. The highest quality hydrosols come from the devoted distillers who, with artist like precision steam the floral and plant material strictly to produce a hydrosol. Hydrosols contain all of the essence of the plant in every drop, just like essential oils but in a milder form; making them suitable for all manner of applications where essential oils would be too strong.”
Noted author Jeanne Rose is quoted as saying.
“The best comes from a distillation where it is the hydrosol that is being produced rather than the essential oil. Often the best comes from the earliest part of the distillation rather than the body of the distillation. This usually smells bright and pleasantly fragrant. Although, some of the therapeutic part of the hydrosol is also produced at the very end of the distillation, and usually has a rather grassy or vegetative note. As the plants are being distilled, micro-particles of essential oil are in suspension, they give the aromatic distillate its scent and will separate out as the hydrosol cools.”

 

Green makeup uses the hydrolats:

– as an overall body and face refresher (Suti’s waters are amazing for this!)
– herbal hydrolats (like rosemary’s) as water for refreshing and revitalizing hair or even tired feet
– for setting the mineral make-up
– calming hydrolats (like chamomile or rose) for refreshing the face during the day, instead of using standard mineral waters
– as an air freshener for the house and bed blankets (lavender hydrolat is great for sleeping)
– using it as a mild fragrance.
– mix it with clay or your favorite mask
– I like to spritz even my clothes with some scents

There are many different hydrolats on the market, from herbs or flowers, even spices. Use the hydrolats depending on your skin type and need. You would use a tea tree hydrolat for acne skin for instance, a lavender one for relaxation, geranium for mixed skin or hormonal imbalances (or even PMS) and so on. And choose those made from organic cultivation. Pay attention not to use hydrolats made from cheap synthetic essential oils! There won’t be any benefit.
Note also that not every hydrolat is good for the face, cause it may be too harsh. I love Suti’s Rose floral water for my skin and for uplifting the mood.

 

Suti Rose water Facial Toner review

When Suti sent me this product, I didn’t know it’d become my favorite facial toner. I have some kind of addiction for toners, maybe because they give your skin a refreshing feeling of cleanliness. I was mostly enchanted again by Suti’s philosophy that connect together the knowledge of the body-spirit union. In complementary medicine and other esoteric and alternative sciences it is well-known that the rose has a high vibrational frequency and so many beneficial properties that are especially good for our heart center (or the 4. chakra). This is because the rose scent and benefits cure the emotional and physical wounds with calming us, harmonizing the energies, stress, insomnia and filling us with the sense of compassion. I especially embrace this quotation from Suti and their toner and love the fact they include those old but precious knowledges in their products:

“Suti’s Rose Water Facial Toner uniquely harnesses ‘Rose Moon Essence’ – our own organic floral essence from a rich red ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’ rose that has been cultivated and prepared under a full moon. The principles of our Moon Essences take into account the powerful influences of lunar gravity on botanicals. In much the same way that common flower based ‘rescue remedies’ are prepared under the sun to harness these natural earthly energies within the elixir, Suti’s Rose Water Facial Toner with Rose Moon Essence harnesses the more feminine energies of the moon to create a toner that heals and protects the body and mind. Our perception of the Rose Moon Essence is that it is perfect for the heart as it encourages joy and happiness, relieves sadness and grief and opens the heart to receive love.”

In general, rose hydrolat is the queen of hydrolats, cause it acts as an antiseptic, it calms, hydrate and regenerate dull and sensitive skin. It stimulates the blood circulation and calms redness (great for using it after shaving, depilation, sun exposure,…) among many benefits. Suti’s rose water is packed in a beautiful 100 ml glass bottle with spray. For those who prefer fresher scents or have oily skin, Suti has also the Peppermint water.

Hope you have enjoyed this floral and fragrant voyage with me and that you will start to discover even natural fragrances 🙂

Inlight Organic Line Softener

inlight skincare

To all those who struggle with signs of aging or just want a good product to nourish and protect their skin, I recommend this excellent product from Inlight: The organic line softener. I’m talking about an extra nourishing balm that you apply on skin with the included wooden spatula, just on areas that need nourishment like dry skin or wrinkles. The idea of making a balm from organic oils for an anti-age product is great, because you can massage the balm deeply into the skin to smooth wrinkles and lines. Why is this product so good especially for mature skin?

Thanks to its invaluable antioxidants like carrot oil, shea butter and macadamia oil, the skin is protected against the damage of free radicals. Gotu kola, calendula and plantain promote tissue healing and elasticity, while extracts of horsetail and nettle restore mineral balance and purify.  

This balm comes in a 30ml blue glass jar and it has a thick greasy texture, this is why a little goes a long way. It’s yellow-orange color and it has a natural delicate scent of vegetable oils. Due to its beneficial ingredients it protects your skin and so it’s appropriate for every age. This is the best thing about organic products: you don’t have to worry whether an “anti-aging” product is appropriate for your age or not 🙂 All those great ingredients are a precious gift from nature so you are totally safe to use them even in your twenties for instance. Otherwise, you can use this balm even for treating your skin from different diseases like sun damage, scars, sensitive skin, as a treatment after surgery scars, it’s ideal also for cracks and stretch marks after pregnancy. This product is certified organic and approved by the Soil association. It’s suitable even for vegetarians. For me this is a must-have and first aid product that I carry with me everywhere.

 

Complete list with ingredients: Butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), Buxus chinensis (jojoba oil), Olea europaea (olive oil), Macadamia integrifolia (macadamia oil), Helianthus annuus (sunflower oil), Cera alba (beeswax) Oenothera biennis (evening primrose oil), Lavandula angustifolia (lavender), Rosa damascena (rose), Calendula officinalis (marigold), Rosa canina (rose hip), Centella asiatica (gotu kola), Equisetum arvense (horsetail), Plantago major (plantain), Pelargonium graveolens (rose geranium), Urtica dioica (nettle), Citrus limonum (lemon), Vaccinium myrtillus (bilberry), Pogostemon cablin (patchouli), Daucus carota (carrot), linalool*, citronellol*, geraniol*, d-limonene*

** natural constituents found in some of organic essential oils

My new discovery: Suti skincare

Suti skincare

It seems that spring has brought me a lot of new green discoveries 🙂 Recently, I’ve been trying a few high-quality European organic brands, among which is the quite young British brand Suti. Suzannah (aka Su – ‘the nose’) and Tina Steadman (aka Ti – ‘the eyes’) are the power force behind Suti – a luxurius organic skincare with the most carefully selected ingredients that are simply just desserts for the skin. About their philosophy I love the most the fact that their knowledge is also based on energy, which is for me crucial, because you can sense when something has a good vibration or not = made with Love. Suzannah told me: “I loved the idea allows the plant to absorb energy for life, everything I do is based on energy.” You can discover more in depth the brand on their website.

When I have seen Suti package for the first time, I was very surprised about their simple, modern and very chic product and graphic design. Not to mention the bottles – they are so beautiful! Honestly, I admit that I adore to feed my soul and eyes even when I have in my hands a beautiful glass bottle with an elixir inside such as Suti products are. Their collection consists of 7 products and a muslin cloth for your facial cleansing, which is quite minimalist. But the products are so rich and nourishing with ingredients, that this will be more than enough and most of all a great investment for your skin. Especially for those who are organic oils lovers like me 🙂 Suti has an interesting philosophy based on aromatherapy and holistic approach (that I like so much!) which supports the use of organic oils blends for your skin instead of moisturizers. Here is a short note about this:

Facial Oil vs. Traditional Moisturiser

“Suti’s hero facial oils are cleverly formulated to intensively feed the skin without clogging the pores. A 100% natural blend of pure and potent certified organic plant extracts, Suti’s facial oils are light and silky and sink seamlessly into the skin, delivering a quenching dose of nourishing, vitamin-rich goodness without leaving a slick, greasy, filmy residue. 
Suti’s facial oils go above and beyond moisturising, feeding, balancing and healing the skin – be it parched and damaged or oily and blemished – to leave a complexion that simply radiates with health.”

And here I take the opportunity to answer many of you that have asked me about the difference between mineral and organic vegetable oils: Organic vegetable oils are pure elixirs for your beauty. There is a saying that “for every disease there grows a plant”… While mineral oil is just a CHEAP alternative, a light mixture of alkanes in the C15 to C40 range from a non-vegetable (mineral) source, particularly a distillate of petroleum. In short, I’d say that your choice defines the love for yourself and your skin!

I will continue with one of the best face oils I’ve ever tried! I was very curious about both Suti oils: for day and night. I decided to give a try to night oil since this is very uncommon for an organic brand to recommend oil for night. But my curiosity has led me to try it and ask more about this concept Suzzanah, the creator of this gorgeous oil that explained her insight: “The Nourish Night Oil was originally made for a lady in her 60s who had very dry skin who wanted me to make her an oil that would feed and nourish her skin at night. In addition to this she was experiencing sleeping difficulties and wanted me to include essential oils that would help to calm and induce a good nights sleep. All of our products have been made and formulated as a result of my being in practice and are all based on aromatherapy, homeopathy, flower and crystal essences, all of these energies come together to create a synergy of potent healing energy, all of the products have been made for a specific client in mind when requested to do so.”

 

Suti Nourish Face Oil for Night review

My skin is prone to dry so it’s needless to say that loves oils, even though I don’t use them during night all the time (nor moisturizers). When I opened Suti’s bottle I was totally captured by the amazing therapeutical scent of this oil, where you can smell jasmine, patchouli and geranium the most. When the oil is applied on the skin, even though is very nourishing, it does not leave the skin greasy or thick. It absorbs quite quick. It is packed in a luxurious 30ml glass bottle with a dropper. 2-4 drops of oil are enough for your face and neck, especially if you refresh you face before with one of their face waters. I find the best to massage the oil gently into the skin and stimulate the blood circulation and acupressure points on the face. The best is that this oil is not just great to treat your skin, but also your senses: it really relaxes the spirit and calms you before sleep. You will also notice that the colour of the oil is almost green. The list of ingredients is a holy grail among organic brands and the ingredients are of high quality selection with a plethora of benefits. According to Susannah, she has chosen the following ingredients when creating Nourish face oil for night that I want to share with you. Take notes 🙂

Avocado oil – mild and nourishing, used for dry skin with a high fat content, it gives lustre to tired and dry skin, also containing chlorophyll which gives it its green colour and is possible one of the best anti-oxidants, energising and purifying and quite critical in it’s cell regenerating properties.

Macadamia oil – one of the most important oils for mature skin, a good oil to use on the face at night when make-up is not required.  It has a high level of palmitoleic acid which occurs naturally in our skin to assist the maintenance of moisture levels.

Argan oil – known as the ‘Miracle oil’ from the Tree of Life and contains many vitamins, minerals and fatty acids essential for the building blocks of our skin, it is excellent for skin regeneration, helping to keep it elastic, soft and supple.

Apricot Kernel oil – an oil that is well tolerated in most skin types, highly nutritious and wondefully nourishing, helping to lock in moisture whilst allowing the skin to breath.

Sesame oil – a very softening and nourishing oil, high in omega 6, a fatty acid important for the regeneration of our skin, it is absorbed quite slowly and so therefore offers wonderful moisturizing and is very good to apply at night time.

Jasmine essential oil – known as the ‘king of flowers’, it comes out at night and is its most potent at this time, it is said to have an amazing affect on our emotions and calms the nervous system to aid a good nights sleep, it has cell regenerating properties and is known to treat dry skin.

Patchouli essential oil – is said to help keep us grounded, helping to relieve us of anxiety, inducing calm and serenity and a good nights sleep.  It has spectacular cell regenerating properties, it can assist the healing of scarring, rough and dry skin.

Orange essential oil – conveys warmth and happiness – I call it a happy oil, bright and of radiant sunshine, assisting people to relax and unwind it brings peace so we can sit stable, strong and silent so that we can remain calm and concentrated, it is a balm for any hurts, it helps to soothe dry skin.

Geranium essential oil – a balancing effect on our nervous systems, helping to lift the spirits and calm and soothe, aiding a good nights rest.  It balances sebum production, in dry skin it will help our oil glands to produce more oil and in oily skin it will help to reduce this action.  A wonderful essential oil regulating all our hormonal activity.

Bergamot essential oil – calming properties but uplifting to our spirits and helps to work on our sympathetic nervous system, a wonderfully calming oil to the skin helping to soothe irritations, it again assists in the regulation of of our skins natural oil levels.

Since you all know that I’m a lover of cold-pressed oils (and essential oils as well), I really wanted to share with you all amazing facts about these precious gifts of nature! Today we’ve had a short aromatherapy lesson 🙂 I also encourage you to discover and try the beautiful world of Suti – luxurious elixirs for your beauty 🙂

Osea Malibu skincare

osea malibu skincare

“Safe cosmetics are a consumer’s right and our earth’s rightful due”

This is the motto of Jenefer Palmer who developed Osea Malibu cosmetics after a long journey of researches. Beside this motto that I really like and support, there is a world of non-conventional skincare based on a long tradition of knowledge. At Osea they use the highest quality ingredients, among which the most important role has a special algae called Patagonia Gigartina.

The algae story

Because the Osea concept is so unique and fascinating, I couldn’t pass by the story about their unique algae. Many of you may be skeptical about the smell of the seaweed, as I was, too, because in the past I had a few unpleasant experiences with its smell. I can assure you that this is not the case with Osea. Here are some excerpts about the algae they use in their products:

“OSEA’s seaweed is certified USDA organic and hand harvested in Patagonia at the confluence of the southward-flowing Brazil current and the Antarctic Circumpolar current. These dynamic waters generate one of the most energetic regions of the world ocean. Their constantly shifting extremes of sea surface temperature help produce the world’s most mineral-rich, nutrient-dense algae. Our Gigartina algae is carefully sun-dried on special drying beds.”

According to Osea the benefits of the seaweed are:

Naturally rich source of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants
Ten times richer in trace elements than land plants
Stimulates and improves blood and lymph circulation
Revitalizes and firms skin
Natural skin softener

“Our certified organic Undaria Algae is hand-harvested off the coast of Patagonia, from the most pristine waters on the planet. It is soaked in wine barrels for three months with Undaria Algae Oil at the OSEA seaweed farm on the southernmost tip of Argentina.” 

 

My review of Osea Undaria Algae Oil for body

I received a 30ml package of Undaria Algae oil which is a quite big trial size. I immediately fell in love with this oil! What is even more surprising is that I like its smell very much! It’s so refreshing and invigorating because of citruses, but at the same time the smell is delicate and not too strong. Just the right balance of everything. According to the aromatherapy, the smell that we instinctively choose and like, is the one that is appropriate for us – on a physical and emotional level.
This body oil is a mix of basic botanical oils from sunflower, flax, rice bran and sesame for nourishing the skin. It is loaded with extra oils from seeds of acai, babassu and passion fruit for the ultimate luxurious experience and maximum benefit for skin. The undaria algae extract gives to this oil the last precious touch with its beneficial properties: antioxidant vitamins and essential fatty acids will make your skin smooth and glowing.

“Undaria Algae Oil contains concentrated sea minerals, rich in B vitamins, to firm and tone. Potent omega fatty acids minimize redness and inflammation. Vitamins A, C, and E along with hydrating sea minerals, help repair environmentally damaged, sensitive skin and restore a healthy glow. OSEA Undaria Algae Oil absorbs easily with no greasy finish and carries nutrients deeper into the skin. Bring home the healing power of the sea in this concentrated ocean therapy.”

I love to apply this oil directly on damp skin after the shower. This way it mixes together with water and locks in the humidity in the skin while nourishing it. The skin becomes very soft and not too greasy, because the oils absorbs quite quick into the skin. I especially recommend using this oil in upcoming hot days, when your skin will be more exposed on the sun and prone to dry. It will  nourish and soothe your skin very well. I found another great way to use this oil – for my hands. Since I had very dry skin on my hands recently (because of really cold weather in the past) I needed some special recovery. I decided to try this oil as a treatment for hands. First I have applied an organic peeling to remove dead cells on the surface of my hands and then I massaged this oil into damp skin. A very nice, nourishing and moisturizing treatment!

I also like Osea’s product packaging. They use glass, which is very positive from my point of view; glass is recyclable, hygienic and also very aesthetic. Here are some other reasons why Osea uses glass for their package.

The Undaria algae oil is packed in a variety of sizes from 30 ml – 200ml (1 and 6 oz) and it comes in a nice glass bottle with pump. This oil is recommended for all skin types, but I’d especially suggest it for dry and mature skin, because of so many beneficial properties.

100% NATURAL DERIVED INGREDIENTS:
Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Seed Oi*, Undaria Pinnatifida Extract*, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil*, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Peel Oil*, Cupressus Sempervirens (Cypress) Oil*, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Pulp Oil*, Linum Usitatissimum (Flax) Seed Oil*, Orbignea Oleifera (Babassu) Seed Oil*, Oriza Sativa (Rice Bran) Oil*, Passiflora Edulis (Passion Fruit) Seed Oil*, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil*, Tocopherol (Vitamin E) *CERTIFIED ORGANIC INGREDIENT

My review of Osea Ocean Cleansing Milk

This light Osea cleansing milk is really a gem for cleaning the skin and removing make-up. I’d recommend it especially to women with sensitive, delicate and mature skin, because of its gentle ingredients. It has almost no scent and a really light and creamy texture. I use this milk in the morning and evening and my skin feels clean, with a feeling of breathing, without being too heavy on the face. According to Osea the main ingredient is the water lilly extract that reduces redness and inflammation. Even the milk is made with USDA Certified organic seaweed from Patagonia. Among these ingredients the milk has also other ingredients like: herbal extract from chamomile flower and rosemary, safflower oil, waxes of cassie flower and rose, as well as the Irish moss, a red algae that is very good for rehydrating rough and dry skin. Apply it gently on your face and neck to remove dirt or make-up. Use circular motions while applying it and remove it with a cotton pad. Follow with nice splash of toner. The cleansing milk is packed in a 30ml or 200ml glass bottle with pump, as well as the previously mentioned oil, which is very hygienic. You can find this milk even in the handy travel set for sensitive skin.

I’d recommend Osea’s products for all women who would like to try a new and refreshing experience of luxury on their skin with the touch from the sea world. Check out all their products on their website: http://www.oseamalibu.com

Freshly made: gentle scrub for lips

sugar scrub

Even though the coldest winter days have already gone -I hope so :), I still need a gentle scrub for exfoliating lips. This is especially useful for me and even a must-have for my work. If someone who is going to be portrayed on photography has chapped and dry lips, I need to resolve the problem effectively before applying the lipstick. Sometimes, using just a clean toothbrush is not enough and can be too harsh. This is why I have made a 2 in 1 lip balm and lip scrub to nourish dry lips and to remove dead skin from them. After using this scrub and before applying the lipstick, lips are smooth and protected. I like very much this recipe and so I made one for myself and another one for my make-up kit 🙂

How I make this organic lip scrub

I have chosen just a few, but very high quality ingredients:

cold-pressed organic almond oil
organic virgin coconut oil
organic unrefined muscovado sugar

First I have dissolved the coconut oil until it became liquid and then I added the almond oil (equal quantities of each).
Then I added the sugar and stirred well until I got a smooth and dense mixture. I’ve put it aside until it has become cold.
If you need extra nourishment, you can add even a small amount of shea butter.

Use a small amount on lips when chapped with rubbing it gently into the skin and then remove with a wet towel. If needed use after a clean toothbrush to remove the dead skin that still remained on the lips.

NOTE  Almond oil is rich in Vitamin E and it’s easily absorbed by the skin. It is perfect for dry, delicate and sensitive skin. It helps to prevent the loss of moisture from the skin, it cures itchiness and dry problematic skin.
I have used the muscovado sugar because I find it more gentle and smooth in comparison to the standard sugar that is quite harsh and rough in consistency.

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